Category: DIY

DIY succulent wreath

‘Tis the season.

Actually, a living wreath is season-agnostic, me thinks.

So yeah, the holidays are here and I totally get the excitement one can feel for snazzifying one’s abode during this time of the year. Against my better hoarding instincts, I tend to err on the side of minimalism but I do enjoy festive sprays of greens around the house. (Check this post about DIY Paper Lanterns out of Furniture Catalogue)

And what better way to validate my succulent hoarding habits than to actually put them to use!

Oh it’s beyond out of control.

But the wreath? The wreath is easy.

1. Cut your clippings. You might need to pull off some leaves around the stems to allow them to burrow into the wreath body, but you know those little suckers will likely sprout offspring, because that’s how succulents roll.

You’ll need a lot of them. I arranged mine into a faux wreath to determine the volume.

Sing with me: “I fell into a blooming ring of cacti” That’s how the song went. Johnny Cash isn’t around anymore so he can’t argue…

2. Get some moss. The long fibered kind.

I bought mine from my favorite hardware store ever, Cole Hardware. It was $6 for the bag, which contains 432 cubic inches, enough to create a moss universe. Cole Hardware is awesome because their window displays are divine. Check this out:

Back to the wreath…

3. Soak about 1/3 of the bag in water for a few minutes. Get out your wreath frame. I saved mine from an evergreen wreath we bought last year, but the frames are cheap and can be found everywhere.

4. Start bunching gobs of moss together and arranging them on the frame. The more moss you use and the tighter you pack your moss, the better it’ll be for your clippings to hold together. 

Warning: the next four photos suck because I have to do this after work hours and it gets SO dark SO early these days. Apologies…

5. Secure the moss by wrapping floral tape around and around until you come full circle. Warning: it gets VERY messy mossy.

Told ya the photos were bad. Sawwy.

6. Start shoving and pushing your clippings into the moss. You can use a chopstick to make holes for the stems.

7. Secure the stems in place with about 4 inch long pieces of wire bent in half.

8. Keep going until you come full circle.

9. Lay your wreath flat for a couple of days to let the moss dry out and stick together.

10. Hang your wreath and feel like a BOSS for creating such a masterpiece each time you look at it.

If that doesn’t get you hot for the holidays, I’m not sure what will.

Ho ho ho.

Paper lanterns out of furniture catalogs

A few weeks ago, we received what I thought were multiple copies of telephone books delivered to our door. Turns out, it was a home furnishings giant that went full on cray cray with their catalogs. “WTF?” I thought to myself. “Do something about it!” my alter ego responded.

So I DIY’d.

When you get something so absurd in this day and age, you wonder about the desperation of the company behind it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love catalogs and magazines and eye candy that produce salivation and “gotta have it” angst, but this is REDONC. I did some research and found various sources citing the retailer as taking a more “green” approach to catalog production. Instead of the Vicky’s Secret once-every-few-days assault on consumers with their propaganda, they are choosing to send out their encyclopedias once a year. They also refer to them as “source books” instead of catalogs, offering customers eye candy categorized by bath, lighting, accessories, and so on.

To that I say, let’s find another use for said source books in the form of my favorite past time.

Today’s DIY is brought to you by the folks at Restoration Hardware.

I made some paper lanterns out of my stash because lanterns are fun and romantic and can be used in most settings.

I first used a paper cutter to cut 1 inch strips of the catalog’s front page (one of the 8 catalogs).

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I cut 2 pieces of equal (well, almost) size from a toilet roll.

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I then glued the strips to each piece.

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After the glue dried completely, I compressed the lantern to form a bubble shape.

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Voila!

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It takes under an hour if you count drying time for the glue. The actual labor takes about 15 minutes.

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Another easy method is to cut lines within a full sheet. Start by drawing a line 1 inch in from each edge of the sheet (do it on the opposite side), then draw lines about 1/2 inch apart.

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Turn the sheet over after cutting the slits and glue each edge together.

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Compress the lantern to form a bubble.

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Light ’em up!

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Definitely less time than it takes to do my hair in the morning.

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Obviously, you can use any type of paper to do this. I typically have a preference for bright colors, but I couldn’t NOT use what was sitting in my entryway begging for a transformation.

Catalog faith almost restored.

PS – there’s a way to unsubscribe to the mailing list (unless, of course, you’re DIY’ing to try out my lantern project). I can’t attest to whether or not this really stops the madness, but it’s worth a try. Click here to give it a shot and please let me know if anyone has unsubscribed successfully.

 

DIY potato-stamped pineapple tote

Pineapples are the new cherries.

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Remember when cherries were everywhere? I still love any cherry-clad product because they’re just aesthetically sweet (not to mention great to eat), but pineapples are all the rage right now. I’m also jonesing for a tropical/beach vacation, so today’s DIY is all about bringing a little perma-cation into our lives with a cute little tote that’s easy as A-B-C. I’ll be using a potato stamp because it’s cheap and accessible, and I remember having hours of fun with potato stamps as a child.

You will need:

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  1. A plain canvas tote (there’s an abundance of them online; I used one that I had in my closet)
  2. Fabric paint in yellow and green
  3. 1 potato (2 potato, 3 potato, 4….you only need 1 but I had to do the chant)
  4. Sharp knife

Wash the tote before you stamp on it so it takes the paint more easily. Iron it to create a smooth and even surface.

Carving

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  1. Slice off two pieces, about 2 inches thick. One will be used for the pineapple body; the other for the leaves.
  2. Using the knife, cut diagonal lines to form the pattern of the pineapple body on one of the slices. Diagonally cut the lines as shown in the diagram.
  3. The leaf is a little trickier. I free styled it, but I would suggest using a marker and outlining the shape, then carving around it. Potatoes are easy to carve, just do it one section at a time.

Stamping

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  1. Dip the stamps in paint and try stamping on paper first. You can plan out pattern arrangements on paper as well.
  2. Slide a piece of cardboard into the bag so that the paint doesn’t seep through to the other side.
  3. Stamp your tote. First stamp the body of the pineapple, followed by the leaves.

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Apply the paint evenly to the stamp. I used a bamboo skewer. Use the sharp point of the skewer to remove access paint from the crevasses that form the lines of the pineapple or they’ll be filled in when you stamp.

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Use light but firm pressure. Make sure your potato is as dry as possible before you stamp. If not, check out the pineapple at the bottom….

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(and cue the Pixies song “I Bleed”)…..the leaves bled because of the water. Blotting with a paper towel will help avoid the “oh sh*t!” moment that I had. Thankfully, the next tote will be bleed free.

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Allow the paint to dry for 4 hours.

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You’re now vacation-ready!

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Estimated Cost

  • Tote: $2
  • Paint: $4
  • Potato: .50 cents

Total: $6.50

Estimated Time

Not including wash/prep and drying of the tote, 30 minutes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to succumb to my sudden craving for piña coladas.